• The interview, as content, works. Getting the interview is easier said than done.
  • Becoming the digital mayor requires technologies and tools that cost money.
  • If you pool your resources with others, you can make it happen.

Tracy Freeman wrote a great summary to Gary Vaynerchuk’s Inman Connect keynote, with the key point:

“I find it truly baffling that the real estate industry on the individual broker level does not understand that they need to become the digital mayor of their town.”

Vaynerchuk’s message that real estate professionals need to be media companies first by creating online content online is not new — we’ve been hearing it for years. Yet people still don’t do it. Why?

The problem: A gap between knowing and doing

As a local professional like you who follows Gary Vee, Grant Cardone, Tom Ferry, Brian Buffini and many others, I’ve heard this idea before and couldn’t quite take theory into practice.

Because here’s the rub that we all face. Every Realtor knows:

  • Relationships are the no. 1 source for clients and referrals.
  • You should create content on the internet.
  • The right things to do to make this happen.

However, there is a massive gap between knowing and doing, and no turnkey solution for every personality in the business that works to build relationships and create content.

All the marketing guru books, keynotes and YouTube videos available contain good information; however, they clearly aren’t solving the problem, or more agents would be taking action.

It would be easy to say that professionals don’t follow through on content creation because they’re lazy; don’t set goals; or lack vision, purpose or patience. And I do agree this is a piece of problem.

But if there was a step-by-step blueprint that was easy, fun and inexpensive, then would more Realtors find success online? I think so, but there’s no clear and concrete solution (if you think there is, please share it in the comments).

Doesn’t “go meet people and build relationships, interview people in your community, and post content on social media” sound easy? It does.

However, here’s the truth: It’s hard.

Could you go up to someone and say, “Hey, I want to interview you for my blog, my YouTube channel and my Facebook page,” with success?

From firsthand experience, the answer is no.

Sure, you’ll get some volunteers. However, you’ll be shocked how many people say no.

Selfish requests

Why? It’s all about you. The platform you are putting this person or business on benefits you primarily.

That person is thinking in the back of their mind, “I’m friends with other Realtors, and if I’m a part of your business, then they might get mad, and I don’t want to ruin my relationships.”

Second, do you think you can create a better web presence that shows up on the first page of search engines than portals and tech companies with millions of dollars and hundreds of staff?

As a graduate of 500 startups, a tech accelerator, and as someone who interacts with these portals, I’ll tell you the answer is no. That’s the cold hard truth.

But there is a solution.

The power of ‘collusion’

I don’t know about you, but I didn’t start my own business to compete. I want to dominate.

Collusion can help (not the kind that’s harmful to the people and business in your community) but that which takes down your competition. Technically, brokerages are a form of collusion. Realtors come together, who are supposed to share goals, resources and work together to be no. 1.

But in reality, this doesn’t happen because you’re competing with one another, fighting over commission splits, and are never at the office. And even if you were, homeowners and business owners don’t want to give you attention because your actions are benefiting the brokerage, not them.

I’m talking about a new form of collusion in which you team up with Realtors from different brokerages, who are not competing with you, across the country, and you pool financial and human resources.

Because how do you beat a portal? You create one that homeowners switch over to.

But how?

Sounds crazy right. How do you do this?

You collude with hundreds of Realtors across the country, and together:

  • Put boots on the ground to share the message of the new place to go to for local information.
  • Pool financial resources to pay for a killer tech team that works for everyone in the network.
  • Be patient and compete.

Here, collusion is a sexy word for “team up.”

Becoming the digital mayor

With combined financial resources, and, perhaps with the help of a tech team, create technologies and tools that benefit the people, businesses, schools and groups in your communities.

In addition, you can build a website or partner with a third party website to feature your content, which will mitigate the conflict of interest your interviewees might have grappled with before. (Having your own Facebook page doesn’t work as well as partnering with a third party website.)

Full disclosure: My company, Parkbench, builds such websites.

On your own, there is zero chance you will become the hub for local information, above and beyond the portals and large tech companies.

Now, as the good old adage goes, Together Everyone Achieves More (TEAM).

Grant Findlay-Shirras is the CEO of Parkbench.com and the Local Leader Real Estate Marketing System. Follow Grant on Instagram and Twitter @GrantFSofficial.

Email Grant Findlay-Shirras.

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